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About Us

Folklore means something different to everyone - as it should, since it is one of the chief means we have to represent our own realities in the face of powerful institutions. Here at the Philadelphia Folklore Project, we are committed to paying attention to the experiences and traditions of "ordinary" people. Our focus is to build critical folk cultural knowledge, sustain vital and diverse living cultural heritage in communities in our region, and create equitable processes and practices for nurturing local grassroots arts and humanities.

We're now a 26-year-old independent public folklife agency, and we document, support, and present Philadelphia-area folk arts and culture - including the arts of people who have been here generations and those who have just arrived. We work to preserve and strengthen the folk cultural life of our communities because we believe that the quality of urban life is directly related to the persistence, diversity and vitality of our vernacular folk cultures.

Annually, we offer exhibitions, concerts, workshops and assistance to artists and communities. We conduct ongoing field research into community-based local arts, history, and culture, and we preserve a record of Philadelphia's folklife in our archive. Our arts education programs give young people opportunities to study with amazing and diverse artists. Our publications, videos, traveling exhibitions, and other resources offer alternative versions of Philadelphia. With our work, we try to deepen public understanding of local traditional arts and the peoples and communities that create them.

Interested in learning more about folklore and folk arts?


Contact Information

Our office, at 735 South 50th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19143, is generally open Monday - Friday 9-5; exhibitions are open Tuesdays and Thursdays 10-6 and by appointment. We are easily accessible by public transportation. (We are one and one-half block south of the intersection of 50th Street and Baltimore Avenue stop of SEPTA's Route 34 trolley.) There is also on-street parking. You can call us at 215.726.1106, or fax us at 215.726.6250. One way or another, we hope that you will contact us with any feedback, questions, or suggestions.